How do I clean these gutters?

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Old 06-01-15, 11:08 AM
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How do I clean these gutters?

The former owner apparently never cleaned the gutters. I got up on the garage and scooped everything out by hand. (I've since been told that wasn't smart.)

Apparently, you're not supposed to clean gutters from being on the roof. How can I get up to clean these gutters? Where can I rest my extension ladder? Won't I damage the gutters by resting my ladder on them?

Also, what tools should I use other than a trowel to scoop the crud out?
 
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Old 06-01-15, 11:12 AM
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I normally use my hand to clean out gutters. You can also flush them out with a water hose. They sell a U shaped attachment that helps when using a hose. Often you can set a ladder on the gutter providing you pay attention and pick the points where they are attached.
 
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Old 06-01-15, 11:54 AM
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If you're 20 or so years past retirement (absolutely no disrespect intended nor implied), have a heart other medical condition(s), have a steep roof, or are in any way uncomfortable up there, then I would agree that you shouldn't do it; otherwise, I don't see anything wrong with cleaning them from the roof. Granted, you have to be careful, and don't want to be on your hands and knees straight down with your head and hands hanging over the edge. We have a single story ranch with a 4-1/2/12 pitch, and I typically give my gutters a thorough cleaning at least twice a year from on the roof. In between times, I have an extension for the blower that I use when everything is dry, and sometimes I use a ladder to get just certain areas where I know things collect, but otherwise use my time on the roof to also inspect the chimney crowns and caps, roof vents, etc. I typically use a narrow planting trowel, and started wearing gloves about 5 years ago, after grabbing a handful of debris that had collected in one of the corners between cleanings and found that some very angry bees had taken up residency. You should also look at the contributing factors, which sometimes can mean trimming and/or removing tree limbs, etc.
 
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Old 06-01-15, 12:10 PM
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I have a couple attach points permanently mounted to my roof near the peak and I wear a roofer's safety harness and ropes to clean my gutters. Many are two stories+ above concrete so staring over the edge is not fun.
 
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Old 06-01-15, 12:38 PM
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I'm not past retirement, but I will say I'm clumsier than I want to be. I don't know how the pitch is on my roof, but over the garage, it was definitely a bit steeper than I'd like.

Perhaps with a ladder and a trowel, it won't be so bad.
 
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Old 06-01-15, 12:56 PM
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So it sounds like a ladder is the best way for you to go, and nothing wrong with that. Just make sure to practice good ladder safety. Step ladders need to be fully open, standing straight upright, with all four legs on the ground, and on solid ground. Extension ladders also need to be on solid ground, and at a 4/1 lean, as shown on the label on the side of it. Typically at this angle, with the ladder leaned against the house, your toes against the bottoms of the rails, and your arms extended straight forward, the ladder will be at arms length. Get a feel for this when you set it up the first time and you'll have your gauge. Move the ladder as needed, and don't try to reach too far. Rather than leaning against the gutters, you may want to purchase a standoff for your extension ladder, which will allow it to lean against the house, below the gutters.
 
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Old 06-01-15, 01:28 PM
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Thanks everyone. I'll look into a standoff for my ladder and give it a go this weekend. Hopefully I post again
 
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Old 06-01-15, 04:53 PM
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Yeah the standoff helps, as mentioned you can put the ladder against the siding that way (not the gutter) and the standoff keeps the ladder far enough away from the wall that you won't be bending over backwards. I will usually take a 5 gallon bucket and an S-hook and slide it along the gutter. I have a 3 or 4" spatula/putty knife with a long handle that just fits in the bottom of the gutter nicely.

I'm not a believer in hosing out gutters. Scraping them with the spatula gets them clean enough. It's not like you're going to be eating out of them.
 
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Old 06-02-15, 06:22 AM
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Ladder

I use a ladder stabilizer which has padded ends and can rest in the roof. This puts the ladder about 3 or 4 inches out from the gutter.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Werner-Un...AC96/100658403
 
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Old 06-03-15, 04:51 AM
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to easily hang it on the front edge of the gutter while moving the ladder
Gutters aren't meant for support of anything. Unsafe advice.
 
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Old 06-22-15, 09:39 AM
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If you're not that keen on cleaning your gutters every 3-4 months, you can always try installing some gutter guards. They are not gonna save you from ever cleaning the gutters, but will help you do it less frequently.
 

Last edited by Shadeladie; 06-22-15 at 10:17 AM.
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